Now is the time to think about designing a sheep hunting fitness program. A couple weeks before sheep season the shooting range is packed, and you see people walking around with their packs, don’t be the guy that waits until the last minute to sight in your rifle and get in shape. It takes more than a couple of weeks to properly prepare for something as challenging as sheep hunting.
You really should shoot all year round and work out consistently.
Periodization is important to get the most out of your training. It helps prevent General Adaptive Syndrome (GAS), or when your body adapts to the specific stresses you are experiencing (i.e. exercise). Each period has a different focus and stresses your body in different ways. If you want to learn more here is an interesting journal article that goes into more detail.
*It is important to use training programs as a guide while allowing yourself to be flexible to make changes as need be.
The day after tags came out I had written out my nutrition/training plan. The two go hand in hand. I’ve posted this before, but here it is again.
I have a chronic overuse injury in my upper thigh, from packing out a caribou over 7 miles over the tundra. Seven miles doesn’t seem very long, but trust me, it is on the tundra. I have been fighting with it off and on for 8 years. I also have Diastasis Recti from my two pregnancies, which leaves my abs super weak.
For the overuse injury, I have tried rest, physical therapy, and dry needling with no real improvement. Currently, I am trying daily foam rolling and Tune Up Fitness ball soft tissue work. So far this has given me the most hope.
For my abs, I am doing Pure Barre, and group workout that mixes barre work and Pilates-like exercises. I’m excited about this because my abs seem to be improving and it strengthens a lot of stabilizer muscles traditional weight lifting does not, and your feet and ankles. This should all come in handy when I’m carrying a heavy pack over uneven terrain.
In addition to the exercises to help heal my body, I am also strength training 2-3 times per week. I mostly do squats and pull-ups. Keep it simple.
For the base period, I will add in cardio workouts while continuing my soft tissue work, strength training, and Pure Bar. I plan on hiking, walking, biking, and swimming. During this time, I will also focus on getting fat adapted (which I have already started by “going keto”). I will complete many of my workouts fasted or with only a fatty coffee.
During this phase, I will increase my time in the weight room while still doing cardio a few times a week. I will also increase my calories by adding more carbs and protein for just a few weeks. This will allow my body to recover faster and build muscle.
During the summer I will focus on hiking, with a weighted pack, and when I say weighted I mean carrying a kid or two😊. I will also add in some CrossFit to increase functional strength and muscular endurance.
The week before I will rest. Yoga and preparing for my hunt will take up my time.
Now is the time to start preparing for your fall hunting season. If you need help coming up with your own personalized program, let me know. I would be happy to help.